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Super League: St Helens beat Salford City Reds 52-10 to climb to seventh
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St Helens ran in seven second-half tries to condemn bottom side Salford to yet another heavy defeat and climb to seventh in the Super League table.
The City Reds showed genuine signs of improvement early on and trailed only 14-10 soon after the break, but the floodgates then opened again in familiar fashion as Saints went on to triumph 52-10.
Centre Jordan Turner grabbed two tries against his old club while Francis Meli - linked with a move to the Reds - also claimed a double at the Salford City Stadium.
But the onslaught to come was in little evidence early on as the hosts started well, with Marc Sneyd and Saints loanee Lee Gaskell probing - albeit to no avail.
The visitors finally broke through after 17 minutes, with Turner finishing simply after Jonny Lomax had broken the line and passed inside to veteran Paul Wellens.
Saints followed up with a second try just three minutes later as Willie Manu barged through some weak tackling to touch down.
Salford fans may have feared the worst at that point but their side responded as Gaskell pushed forward and former Saints star Martin Gleeson showed his enduring class to dummy and cross.
The Reds then held firm until the stroke of half-time when Gareth O'Brien added a penalty to his two earlier conversions.
But Salford cut into that lead after the restart as Sneyd spread the play and Gaskell set up Jodie Broughton out wide with a long pass.
The hosts could not maintain that momentum, however, and were stunned as Saints upped a gear and hit them with four tries in a blistering nine-minute spell.
Wellens, also linked with a move to Salford next season, slipped through a weak tackle from Adam Walne to mark his 450th Saints appearance with a try under the posts. Lomax got lucky as his kick rebounded kindly off a defender but the Reds failed to react as he regathered and sprinted through.
Saints then cut Salford open down the right to set up a second for Turner and Anthony Laffranchi burrowed over from close range soon after.
Salford briefly stemmed the tide but Lomax put Meli over for another in the corner and O'Brien curled a touchline conversion over off the post.
It all seemed too easy for Saints as Meli was given time to flop over for his second and Josh Jones gathered a loose ball to bring up the half-century late on, O'Brien's final goal taking Salford's points against tally in their last three games to 166.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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